Skip to comments.Pastorís Faith Tested By His Sonís Murder
Posted on 08/13/2012 8:43:25 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Imagine yourself a parent whose 22-year-old son was brutally murdered by three thugs, two of whom have lengthy criminal rap sheets.
And imagine the trial of your sons killers delayed not once, not twice, but three times over the past three and a half years, owing to the legal maneuvers of lawyers representing the accused.
Thats the ordeal Pastor Ron Armstrong has endured. And today he makes his way to a Southern California courtroom yet again praying that his sons killers will finally answer for their crime.
Pastor Ron freely admits that his soul has been tormented since the fateful night, in December 2008, when his eldest son was violently taken from him. Since then, he has struggled with anger, bitterness and, sometimes, even darker emotions.
His church congregation has been sympathetic, he relates, gratefully. Theyve offered him words of encouragement:
That his son has gone to be with the Lord. That God is near to the brokenhearted. That the Almighty will give him, his wife and their youngest son beauty for ashes.
Yet the hurt remains. The grief continues. The loss endures.
Perhaps, if the three men who stabbed young Ryan Armstrong to death had been tried in a timely manner, had a jury returned a verdict, had a judge imposed sentence, Pastor Ron and his family might have had some sort of closure.
But because Ryans killers have been untried, unconvicted and unpunished for three and a half years and counting his surviving family continues to suffer.
As a man of faith, anointed to preach the Gospel, Pastor Ron knows well that he is obliged to forgive the three men who sent his beloved son to an early grave even if they are unrepentant.
But the Scripture does not command the still-grieving pastor and those of us who sympathize with him and his family to forgive the broken-down criminal justice system for allowing the wicked the murderous to delay justice indefinitely.
Indeed, a familiar maxim states: Justice delayed is justice denied. Thats why this nations founders, in their wisdom, enacted the Sixth Amendment, which guaranteed the right to a speedy and public trial.
Of course, the Sixth Amendment specifically refers to the rights of the criminally accused. But there should also be a guarantee of swift and sure justice for those, like Pastor Ron Armstrong and his family, who have lost a loved one to violent crime.
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us"
There is no justice for the righteous in Babylon.
Forgiveness on our part does not in anyway mean the person skips out on the punishment.
Any relation to Herburt Armstrong?
I know all too well what he’s feeling. My daughter’s killer took a plea bargain and got a 10-year sentence (went from Murder charge, to Man2). This was only after facing a sure defeat if it went to trial, wherein the monster would have gotten 50yrs - life.
Will most likely only serve 5 or 6 of those 10 years.
I hold to the intellectual logic and faith of what Scripture says, but dang...emotionally it’s a mess.
There is a very simple reason for this imbalance:
Judges and lawyers which support them have fallen madly in love with the sanctity of the law. They fail to realize that the law is only effective when backed by marshals, sheriffs, police officers, volunteers, neighborhood watches, and if necessary armed citizens. Laws without that level of active support are written on paper that should be stored in out houses not libraries.
Over the last decade or so I have taken great glee when ever I read stories about judges who have been robbed, mugged or otherwise exposed to real criminality not the ones they normally encounter - all dressed up and made up to look good. At elections at all levels I vote against judges who spout drivel about the law because they don’t realize what a balancing act it really is.
I am so sorry :(
Not sure. I’ll check.
re: “As a man of faith, anointed to preach the Gospel, Pastor Ron knows well that he is obliged to forgive the three men who sent his beloved son to an early grave even if they are unrepentant.”
I do not believe that the Bible commands us to “forgive” those who sin against us who are unrepentant (i.e. never admit their sin, never ask for our forgiveness). I always hear the quote from Matthew 6:12-15, but does it mean that we are to forgive those who never ask for it?
Peter once asked Jesus how many times he was supposed to forgive his brother (Matthew 18:15-35). Jesus told him that he should forgive 70 times 7, meaning that we are to always be WILLING to forgive - but, the implication here is that the person who sinned against you actually asked for forgiveness. If you doubt that read the whole passage including the parable Jesus told about the unforgiving servant.
Also, does God forgive US without us admitting our sin and asking for His forgiveness?? No way.
God Himself in the Person of Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself on our behalf without our knowing or understanding what He did for us - but, in order to receive God’s forgiveness we have to admit our sin and repent, accepting Jesus’s death on the cross in our behalf, and believing in His resurrection from the dead.
The Bible does teach/command that we are to turn over to God the bringing about of ultimate justice on those who harm us. We are not to seek our vengence ourselves - “Vengence is mine, says the Lord”. The Bible also teaches that the role of government is to enforce law and order, to punish “wrong doers” (see Romans 13).
In essence - I believe the Bible teaches that in regard to those who do us harm, but never ask for forgiveness or acknowledge their sin against us - we are to be WILLING TO forgive, but if they never acknowledge that sin, then no forgiveness is possible.
We can “let go” of our hurt and anger toward that person, but there can be no possiblity of forgiveness as long as that person never asks for forgiveness (which must include acknowledgement of the harm they’ve committed against us).
Why would God ask us to do something that He doesn’t do? Forgiveness is a restoration of relationship between two parties. When someone commits a sin/crime against another, they are “broken” in relationship to one another. If you are the one harmed, if the person who harmed you is in the church, Jesus said we are to approach the one who harmed us and bring it to their attention (Matthew 16), then if that person repents and asks forgiveness, the relationship is restored (forgiven).
If it is someone outside the church who has harmed you, you can still approach them and confront them and they can still admit their crime/sin and ask for forgiveness and, once again, their can be restoration between you and the offender, forgiveness is possible.
But, with those who sin against you and never acknowledge the sin or ask for forgiveness - how is forgiveness/restoration possible?? It is not. God does not forgive without confession. He is willing to forgive and we are to do the same.
Looked into it. No relation.
yeah God is permitting this poor man to be tested like Job
It is a mess emotionally, not fun.
Oh, I am so sorry your family has suffered in this way! :(